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I put together a little video on the YouTube channel if you’d rather watch that (go ahead and subscribe to the channel while you’re at it!):
Anyway, the other day I was finally able to pick up a pair of the hard-to-find Newest Thing from Apple: the AirPods.
The AirPods are wireless headphones that are very similar to Apple’s legacy earpods that come with all their iPhones with a few enhancements, which I’ll get to below.
As you’d expect from Apple, the AirPods have a clean, modern design, which of course called for me to break out the macro lens and the dark acrylic for some product pics.
The AirPods come in a hard plastic case, which doubles as a charger. When you put the airpods in their respective slots, they magnetically “clip” in with a resounding thud so you know they’re charging.
The case/charger connects via a Lightning cable (although the opening for the charger looks like it was made for a USB-C connection) and stores quite a few charges for the AirPods, which are rated before 5 hours of moderate use but recharge very quickly.
The Cool Features
- In-ear detection – the AirPods have accelerometers which indicate when they’re in your ear or not. If you’re listening to music and take them out, your music is automagically paused. When you put them back in, the music resumes.
- Instant pairing – the AirPods utilize Apple’s new W1 “internet of things” chip. When you first get your Airpods, you simply open the case next to your phone, a menu pops up on your phone, and you’re instantly connected. The entire process took about 6 seconds.
- Battery info – you can instantly see the battery status of the AirPods and the charger in the control center of your iPhone.
- Stereo mode – One of my favorite features! If, for whatever reason, you want to use only one AirPod (which is me at the office most days, in case someone needs to get my attention for something), the AirPods will broadcast a stereo signal through that AirPod! This is one of those little small things that make Apple’s user experience so great.
What I Don’t Like
- They’re tiny – I would not be surprised if I lose these at some point. Yes, that’s more on me than it is the AirPods, but it’ll still be annoying because they’re $160.
- Hard plastic – I would’ve preferred a softer option for the “bud” portion of the AirPod. It has taken some getting used to and is fine now but it led to some soreness the first few times I used them.
- Charging – the only way to charge the AirPods is using the case/charger. I imagine it could be pretty easy to have the AirPods but lose the charger, so will Apple sell the charger only? For how much?
Overall First Thoughts
I think the AirPods are a simple product executed very well. I’ll still take my Bose QC35s for situations where I would like some noise canceling but the AirPods are perfect for walking around and general stuff at the office. I’m not quite sure they’re worth $160 but it’s kind of the premium you pay for an Apple product.
I’m excited to see what else Apple will do with their W1 chip. Headphones were a logical first choice for sure, it will be interesting to see what comes next!
What do you think? Overpriced for early adopters like me or legitimate value? Tell me in the comments below!